Technip Energies pushing forward to advance carbon capture solutions

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As calls for the rapid development of a CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) infrastructure become more prevalent, it is reassuring to know major engineering and technology companies like Technip Energies have the necessary skills, manpower and technologies in place. Carbon Capture World had the distinct pleasure of asking Technip Energies’ Julie Cranga, VP Business Development CO2 Management, for her insights on how the carbon capture chain might evolve.

To some, capturing carbon dioxide might sound like a modern concept. As a chemical technology, carbon capture is actually a mature process used for decades to remove unwanted CO2 from product streams. This means that engineering companies like Technip Energies do not have to reinvent the
wheel, says Mrs. Cranga.

“At Technip Energies, we have a solid track record offering multiple systems with more than 65 years of experience leveraging technologies in energy, gas processing, CO2 management and major infrastructure developments. We are accustomed to working with new industries to select, fine-tune and leverage the most appropriate technologies. And in many projects, we also act as a technology provider. Looking specifi cally at CCS, we can provide systems for pre- and post-combustion carbon capture. Through our alliance with Shell C&T on the CANSOLV® CO2 Capture System, we have strong expertise in amine technology, a mature approach that stands as today’s primary technology for carbon capture. Also important to note is the complete carbon capture chain includes elements such as transportation, utilization and sequestration. And with more than 50 CCUS development projects successfully completed, we are well-equipped to deliver on all these components together with our partners.”

Julie Cranga, VP Business Development CO2
Management, Technip Energies

North Sea hotspot

In Europe, the North Sea has emerged as a focal point for CCS activity thanks partly to strong government support. Asked about Technip Energies’ input, Mrs. Cranga shared details of the many reference projects the company has or is working on. “Let’s start with the UK, which is a very active CCS market thanks to the alignment of the UK government. Here we have delivered a FEED project for BP’s Net Zero Teesside Power, a planned gas-fired power plant with an integrated CCS
system. That plant is designed to capture 2 MTPA of CO2 for safe sequestration off shore.”

Moving around the North Sea, Mrs. Cranga also notes that Technip Energies is delivering an EPF (Engineering, Procurement, Fabrication) for a 10 KTPA carbon capture unit in Norway as well as a FEED for a 450 KTPA plant in Denmark designed to capture CO2 emitted by municipalities. Meanwhile, the company is delivering feasibility studies, such as for a steel manufacturing facility in Northern France.

Other regions are also progressing with CCS activities, states Mrs. Cranga. On those fronts, Technip Energies has delivered engineering services to various industries on four continents, such as a FEED project for a gas-fired power plant, a pilot plant for a cement producer and another one for a mining industry client, all located in North America.

Sense of scale

Like many with a professional interest in CCS, Mrs. Cranga is confident the modest number of projects currently being announced will rise at an increasing pace. “The International Energy Agency and other authoritative organizations indicate carbon capture and storage is a must to combat the effects of climate change. To achieve a 2050 target, we will need to remove one gigaton of CO2 by 2030. And to provide a sense of scale, all CCS facilities installed to date have a combined capture rate of just 45 MTPA.”

Mrs. Cranga is encouraged by the united voices calling for CCS to step up. “As everyone knows, multiple parties need to work together to shape awareness,
establish an open infrastructure and develop realistic business models. On the plus side, we are slowly seeing more alignment, with technology being enhanced and regulations put in place. Further clarity regarding the proposed infrastructure, as well as financing, would help. But I like to stress the positives, such as the Inflation Reduction Act giving a boost to CCS in the USA. As soon as a handful of companies start to commit, I see a real snowball effect taking place.”

Driving down costs

CAPEX and OPEX costs are an inevitable concern for companies  looking to install CCS units. To help ensure a solid business case, Technip Energies is continuing to develop the most cost-effective solutions, says Mrs. Cranga. “Lower costs for capturing a ton of carbon dioxide can help emitters make investment
decisions faster. That’s why we have developed modular solutions for small to medium-sized carbon capture facilities. Plus, larger and/or more complex plants can benefit from our standardized carbon capture solutions. Replication and reliability help drive down costs.”

 

 

To encourage pioneering research into CCUS, Technip Energies continually screens technologies and partners and invests in promising start-up companies.

 

In June 2023, Technip Energies launched its Canopy label, which includes a range of carbon capture solutions for post-combustion technologies. Powered by Shell’s CANSOLV® CO2 Capture System, clients select systems from pilot-size to large-scale plants. CO2 recovery rates are estimated above 95% and are achievable with excellent energy efficiency, low-solvent volatility and minimal emissions. Plus, the capture plants are fully instrumented and automated for operations and performance monitoring.

Focus on proven technology

While multiple technologies are available for point-source carbon capture, Mrs. Cranga notes clients are leaning strongly towards processes that are proven and deliverable at scale. “In this respect, amine-based carbon capture has several advantages. We are delighted to offer systems based on Shell’s CANSOLV® CO2 Capture System. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in the CCS sector. The best option can depend on the type of industry, the specific nature of the flue gas, the concentration of carbon dioxide, the levels of contaminants, etc. This is why we maintain strong in-house research and development to fine-tune processes. Incidentally, 100 percent of our current R&D budget is allocated to carbon capture and other solutions for the energy transition.”

To further encourage pioneering research, Technip Energies continually screens technologies and partners and invests in promising start-up companies. Says Mrs. Cranga: “For example, we recently put finance into a company developing membrane systems. Additionally, we are leveraging our expertise to help smaller companies scale up production and find potential clients.”

Removing bottlenecks

Looking ahead, Mrs. Cranga does not see any technical or logistical barriers that could hinder the development of the CCS chain. “From the engineering perspective, a carbon capture plant is basically no more complex than a chemical process facility. The equipment requirements are quite familiar to us and readily obtained thanks to
our global reach. We also have a strong know-how in the commissioning and construction phases.”

Bottlenecks that need to be addressed include setting up CO2 transportation infrastructure and financing. “Once clients realize they can readily transport and dispose
of their CO2, they will grow in numbers provided the figures stack up. Companies need to know what it will cost to capture, transport and store CO2, if governments are willing to shoulder the financial burden, whether funding is available for research, etc. Banks also need to get on board to ensure finance is available. Given the prevailing uncertainty, many companies are forming partnerships to offset the risks. Technip Energies is addressing this issue by cooperating with banks to develop viable schemes and options for clients. We also are working with governments and partnering with other technology companies to ensure the value chain is as fluid as possible.”

A C10 pilot plant fabricated by Technip Energies for a client in Canada.

From CCS to CCU

Finally, asked to consider the long-term perspective, Mrs. Cranga says that once a CCS infrastructure has been established, it would be beneficial to use the captured CO2. “Carbon dioxide can be used as a building block molecule. Once captured, it could be used to produce valuable chemicals and even e-fuels. Research is already underway to this end. Ideally, the CO2 should be derived from biogenic origins such as biomass or waste-to-energy plants. Right now, carbon dioxide is often seen as a waste product for disposal. But with the right approach, we can give CO2 a real value.”

In June 2023, Technip Energies launched its Canopy label, which includes a range of carbon capture solutions for post-combustion technologies.
Carbon Capture Editorial Team
Carbon Capture Editorial Team
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